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Pollard to captain Bulls against Sunwolves in Singapore

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The Bulls have named flyhalf Handre Pollard as their new Super rugby captain for this weekend’s Super Rugby clash against the Sunwolves at the Singapore National Stadium

The Bulls will travel with a number of new faces as well as a new captain Pollard who takes over from regular captain, Burger Odendaal, who was not considered due to injury.

The Bulls will welcome back a number of players who saw little action this year. Jamba Ulengo is back at wing, Hanro Liebenberg at no8 and Jannes Kirsten makes a first appearance this season on the side of the scrum.

Ulengo and Kirsten have not played at all in this year’s tournament and Liebenberg’s last action was on 14 April against the Cell C Sharks.

The midfield combination, where Johnny Kotze will partner Jesse Kriel in Odendaal’s absence, is new as well, while Pollard will have Embrose Papier on his inside. Papier last started on 23 March against the Crusaders.

Edgar Marutlulle, Simpiwe Matanzima and Morne Smith will all make first appearances for the season as well, with the latter two also debuting in the competition and Bulls colours.

“It is great to be back playing in the tournament again. We had a good break, but also had some time together to sort out elements in our play that lacked consistency,” feels Bulls coach, John Mitchell.

“The Sunwolves are always dangerous, especially on home turf and we will have to be very principled in our approach and execution if we want to stay in the contest,” Mitchell said.

Pollard said they need to find their momentum and rhythm as soon as possible. “We have not played together as a team for a while, but that should not be a problem for us. We know each other pretty well by now and even the guys coming back after injury have played in the tournament before. ”

“It will be a challenge, as the Sunwolves have shown their competitiveness in the competition, but ultimately the onus will be on us and how badly we want the win. There is still an outside chance, so we cannot afford any mistakes.”

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jamba Ulengo , 13 Jesse Kriel , 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.

Replacements :16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Morne Smith, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Nic de Jager, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Dries Swanepoel

Non-playing replacements: Adriaan Strauss ,Lian du Toit

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